here in japan, it's saturday night. welcome to "newsline," i'm james tengan. ukrainian officials say pro russian separatists have shot down a military plane in eastern ukraine killing all 49 people onboard. government forces and pro- russian insurgents have been fighting in the eastern part of the country since april. officials from ukraine's defense ministry say the 76 transport plane crashed early on saturday. the plane was about to land at an airport. there were 49 people on board, including soldiers who were
being rotated to replace troops stationed in the region. the plane was carrying weapons and other military equipment. ukraine's newly inaugurated president, petro poroshenko, called for a cease-fire within the week, but the situation in the region has only worsened. officials in russia and ukraine are pointing fingers at each other over the movement of tanks and other military vehicles. both sides accuse the other of sending the vehicles across their common border. authorities in ukraine say russian tanks entered their country. they say president poroshenko brought up the issue during a phone call with his counterpart vladimir putin. officials in moscow had no comment about the allegation but they say at least one ukrainian armored vehicle has crossed into russia. they say officials at the foreign ministry lodged a protest. fighting continues between government forces and pro-russian militants in
eastern ukraine. government troops say they have regained control of the southeastern city of mariupa. the city was under the control of pro-russian fighters. government officials in iraq are stepping up efforts to battle islamist insurgents. militants linked to al qaeda have taken control of key cities in the north and advancing towards the capital, baghdad. prime minister nouri al maliki visited the front line town of samarra and ordered the commander of government forces to do more to remove extremists. since then, military forces have intensified efforts to prevent militants from entering the capital. they used helicopters to attack insurgent positions in tikrit and the second largest city, mosul. militants captured mosul earlier in the week. they are expanding their control in mainly sunni muslim areas. the leader of iraq's shia urged citizens to take up arms against the insurgents.
he called on men to support the shia-led government, but there are concerns that shia involvement could draw opposition from sunni residents and add to the unrest. a japanese research group is reporting another breakthrough in stem cell research. the leader said the team identified a gene related to a serious retinal disorder by using stem cells created from a patient's tissue. the team was led by a professor. they created ips stem cells with tissue taken from a patient suffering from retinitis. the disease kills retinal cells and may result in loss of vision. no cure has yet been discovered. the researchers reproduced the condition in the test tube by turning the ips cells into retinal cells.
they say they found that a mutation of a gene causes cells to die and allows the disease to progress. the researchers also found that a type of cancer drug can reduce it and prevent the symptoms from worsening. >> translator: we have been able to prove the causal relation between the gene mutation and the symptom. we will be able to predict the possibility of people with mutated genes developing the disease before the symptoms show. >> he says the finding could lead to preventive treatment for people with mutated genes. more bad news for general motors. officials have announced another recall of more than half a million vehicles. they say they've identified several problems, including defects with the ignition switches. this brings the number of vehicles recalled by the u.s. automaker this year to more than 16 million. the officials say the recall affects more than 500,000 chevrolet camaros, sold mostly
in north america. they say a driver's knee could accidentally move the ignition switch out of the run position causing the engine to shut off. the company says the problem may have caused several accidents that resulted in minor injuries. the automaker has announced more than 30 recalls this year. the total number of vehicles involved far exceeds the number of new cars the company sold around the world in 2013. the latest recalls come after gm fired 15 employees in connection with allegations that the company covered up fatal defects and failed to address the problems for more than ten years. ceo mary barra is likely to come under fire when she testifies at a congressional hearing next week. as soccer fever intensifies,
here is the latest on the action from the second day of the world cup. group b rivals spain and the netherlands staged a repeat of their championship match from the 2010 tournament, but this time it was the dutch who came out on top. spain struck first in the 26th minute. diego costa earns a penalty kick. alonso sends the ball into the net for the first goal of the match. but the netherlands catches up in the 44th minute. robin van percie netted the equalizer with an incredible diving header. that gave momentum to the dutch and they began to display their attack capabilities.
robin and van percie each scored twice helping the netherlands in venge its defeat to spain four years ago. in another group b match, chile beat australia, 3-1. chilean striker sanchez notched a goal and an assist. the netherlands and chile sit atop group b with three points. spain and australia have none. now group a hosts brazil and now fans in mexico are celebrating their first win. mexico took on cameroon in the second group a match. mexico took the lead in the 61st minute with a goal by peralta
and beat cameroon 1-0. brazil and mexico are leading the group at three points each. cameroon and croatia have none. trying to cash in on all this world cup fever are japanese shop keepers and restaurant owners. staff at a department store in tokyo have set up a special section with about 200 soccer themed items. they include uniforms of the japanese and brazilian national teams. the store is selling a soccer ball made of gold. it weighs 3 kilograms and costs more than $420,000. officials at a brewery have released a beer tinted with blue liquor. blue is the color of japan's national team. >> translator: i want to support japan by drinking this. >> translator: i hope we get a lot of orders and see a boost in sales.
>> supporters can order the beer at about 400 restaurants and bars across the country. just in case you haven't noticed my shirt is an homage to the japanese team. you're watching "newsline." here is the extended world weather forecast. log on to our website for more news and special reports. for all of us here on